Denis’s Story

Site created on July 2, 2018

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. 
On Thursday night Denis was in a  small clearing in our woods trying to burn off some old fuel on a small pile of brush. The air was still, and it was very humid, a recipe for disaster. He was standing fifteen feet away from where he started the fire and the gas fumes had filled the clearing. The fumes were ignited and exploded. Denis was burned  from his knees down to around his ankles. His crocs saved the top of his feet. Good ole crocs!  The burn goes all the way around his legs and his right hand and arm. He also has burns on his left arm. A small patch on his stomach burnt where his shirt started on fire. His face has some battle wounds as well. We quickly got him in the tub with water and ice until we made a plan as to where to bring him. Wrapped in sheets and with ice packs, we brought him to HCMC , where he was eventually admitted to the burn unit. 

Newest Update

Journal entry by Michelle Zilmer

First, I would like to thank my wonderful wife for the sweat, tears and support she has given on my journey. And my God for providing the miracle healing when the doctors said I would be there for months.
Also, a quick state of my health. My skin has completely covered all my burn areas. Yeah, God. However, it is still thin and breaks easily. Just brushing against a couch or the car would tear the outer layer of skin off. Today, it is a little thicker and generally takes solid contact to tear. And, I continually do this on my elbow. Doctors say that the skin will continue to thicken for the next 4 months. Regarding pain, the new wounds are painful for about a week. I also deal with blood pooling in my ankles if I stand. The skin needs to get a little thicker to provide pressure to lift blood back out of my calves. To alleviate this, I walk in place. I also wear these attractive fire socks that provide some physical protection and should help with scarring. My legs look great, considering. Like my arms, belly and hand, the legs are discolored, but the skin looks like skin. I am fully back at work and capable of most household and yard tasks.

But what I really want to write about is the community that rose up during this event. It was incredible. My church-Crow River, my extended family, my community-Rockford and my employer-Loram really blessed us. And many others in places like Arizona, churches around the country and old friends out east. I really want to thank all of you. I am truly blessed to be a part of this community and am proud of it. Thank you for your prayers, food, love, time and gifts. You have taught me what true generosity really is. And the value of a community.  Denis.
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